The most common type of knee arthritis is osteoarthritis of the knee. It is a condition that causes inflammation of the knee joint. It is a degenerative disease that typically develops over time and results in the wear and tear of the knee joint.
Other types of knee arthritis are post-traumatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis. Thinning is caused by trauma such as injury from contact sports, falling, or a car crash. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that triggers inflammation on the knee joint, causing the cartilage to wear away.
In a healthy knee, the ends of the bones are covered with cartilage, which acts as a cushion to absorb shock and allow for smooth movement. If you have knee arthritis, the cartilage wears out, causing the bones to rub against each other. This causes symptoms such as stiffness, pain, and difficulty moving the knee joint.
Below is a look at 7 common symptoms of knee arthritis.
Pain in the knee joint is the most common symptom of knee arthritis. The level of pain may vary from mild to severe. The pain can manifest as an ache, or as a sharp or burning sensation that you feel during movement or while at rest. It may get worse when you move the knee, or if you attempt to stand after sitting for a long time.
Knee arthritis often causes stiffness in the joint, making it difficult to move the knee freely. Patients often describe the stiffness as a feeling of tightness, discomfort, or resistance when trying to move the knee joint. It may be worse in the morning, or after periods of inactivity, such as sitting or standing for a long time. Over time, if left untreated, knee stiffness can lead to muscle weakness and even further joint damage.
Swelling around the knee joint is another common symptom of knee arthritis. It is typically caused by inflammation. The swelling may be mild or severe. It can cause the kneecap to appear larger than usual. In some cases, the swelling can cause the skin around the knee to become tight and shiny.
Limited range of motion
Range of motion refers to the extent to which a joint can be moved in different directions, such as bending or straightening the knee. Inflammation, pain, and stiffness can lead to a loss of flexibility and a limited range of motion in the knee joint.
The knee joint may be tender to the touch, especially when pressure is applied. Tenderness may be felt in the front, back, or sides of the knee, and it may be more pronounced in areas where there is significant joint damage or inflammation.
Cracking or popping sounds
Some people with knee arthritis may hear cracking or popping sounds when they move the knee joint. Since the cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in the knee joint, the bones can rub against each other when the cartilage wears away, causing the popping or cracking sound.
Knee arthritis can cause weakness in the muscles around the knee, making it harder to support the joint during movement. You may experience the weakness as a wobbly feeling, like the knee is giving out.
Knee arthritis can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, injury, obesity, and overuse. While there is no cure for knee arthritis, there are a variety of treatment options available to help manage symptoms, such as medications, physical therapy, and surgery.